Chili Madness

Last weekend a local grocery store had a special on Hatch Chilies. Those are New Mexico chilies that are traditionally fire roasted in Hatch, New Mexico in large, round, rotating, propane-fueled roasters.

The store brought in 1500 lbs of New Mexico chilies. They are an Anaheim variety, long and green, of varying heat levels.  There was a roaster set up outside the store.  Roasting was scheduled from 4 pm to 7 pm on Friday,  and 11-2 on Saturday.  Husband and I were serendipitously at the store at 3:30 on Friday, and we bought about 10 lbs of mild/medium chilies to have roasted.  The skins get charred in the roaster but the pepper flesh isn’t.  After they cooled and steamed in plastic bags we took the skins off and froze them in baggies. They will make nice additions to lots of dishes this winter.

The response to the promotion was amazing. Perhaps events like this are common in the Cities, but this was the first of its kind here, and people went crazy for the chilies. As we were having ours roasted, a woman from Watford City, a community about 80 miles northwest of us,  came with 200 lbs of chilies to roast. She said the grocery store’s sister city in Watford was rationing how much she could get, but she could purchase as much here as she wanted.  She figured 200 lbs would be enough for her and her friends. She said she used to live in New Mexico and couldn’t believe that she could have roasted Hatch chilies here. We talked to several former New Mexicans while we stood in line, and all said the same thing. They said that nothing reminded them of autumn than the smell of roasting chilies.  They were so grateful to get these peppers.

By 7:00 pm, the store had sold 1400 lbs of the chilies, leaving a paltry 100 lbs for the next day.  The store plans to get another shipment of Hatch chilies in for next weekend.

What smells are evocative for you?  What gives you a sense of home?

58 thoughts on “Chili Madness”

  1. they don’t do chili roasting here
    sounds wonderful
    i’d love to try it if they offered it here

    smells are so interesting
    i used to love the smell of burning leaves in the fall
    today i love the smell of chinese food cooking in a restaurant as i walk by
    the smell of my family cooking chicken in the oven
    i noticed on a motorcycle ride earlier this summer the smells are one of my favorites parts
    saturday on a ride i smelled a lawn being mowed from 1/2 mile away
    lilacs, roses and flowering trees in the spring

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Roasting peppers or chilis is so easy. Fire up your grill and put the peppers on the grill until roasted. Every fall I do this with my Fresno chilis, which I find to be the perfect blend of lingering spice and chili flavor, especially in jelly. After the skins are blackened, I peel them and freeze them for the winter.

      Never roast peppers in the house. Coughing and eyes tearing up is the consequence of that. Don’t ask me how I know that.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. How delightful. Except I cannot eat them.
    Evocative smells: barn, horse, outdoor winter fire, fresh cut hay especially mixed with odor of hot oil or grease. I know there are food ones but I would not smell them today, like chicken frying in lard.
    Evocative? Do ones evoking pain count? Too many to list.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Even though I’m a vegetarian, the smell of tuna salad takes me immediately back to my girlhood. My dad didn’t like tuna, so we only had it when he was out of town (he was an attorney working for the state so traveled some). Tuna salad in a scooped out tomato sitting on a lettuce leaf was a summer dinner for “just us girls”.

    Yesterday I completely “garlicked” my house when I made the garlic parmesan carrots. When YA got home from work, she said “what did you make” as soon as she came in!

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Aunt Leona made these wonderful huge ginger cookies shaped like stars. They were very thick, soft, and dark cookies, and the smell captures Christmas for me.

    I suppose the unmistakeble smell of a hog containment barns captures northwest Iowa and parts of Rock C ounty for me.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Rise and Breathe in the Aromas Baboons,

    So many smells to enjoy. This is county fair time, an event that is rife with smells that are comforting and familiar—cattle, horses, and hay always bring up the image of 4-H animals barns in my mind.

    Probably my favorite aroma is baking bread or cinnamon rolls.. Why,why,why did we ever think mushy Wonder Bread was a wonder? Compared to real bread it falls short in every way, but there was a time in childhood when we would choose Wonder Bread over the real thing.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. What lept immediately to mind was the smell of Dove (bar) soap – reminds me of my grandmother and her house. Which then brings up memories of dyeing Easter eggs with my cousins in her big, sunny kitchen, playing outside under the catalpa tree with them, and later the apartment she and my grandfather moved into with a view that my grandfather loved (the cars on 94, speeding between St. Paul and Minneapolis – no one is sure why he loved it, but we suspect it was fascination with something that simply didn’t exist when he was a kid).

    Another, based on Jacque’s comment of bread and cinnamon (both are double “yums”): Scott’s Liquid Gold. My mom would dust with it on Saturdays – often when she had molasses bread rising, another evocative smell – “Live from the Met” bringing us opera on the radio. I didn’t “get” opera as a kid, but man, open a bottle of Scott’s Liquid Gold and I will hear Beverly Sills in my head and be 8 or 10 years old again, sitting somewhere in the house reading or coloring or trying to figure out if I should explain why my mom listens to stuff you can’t understand instead of the oldies station to whichever friend was over…

    Liked by 5 people

    1. BF Skinner would be so proud. You just gave an example of operant conditioning in which two independent events become associated, then evoke a response ala’ Pavlov’s dog. (Not calling you a dog, ala Trump, just citing old psychological research!)


        1. Uffda, you are so correct about that. I should not try to be a smarty pants at 8:21am in the morning. I teach Operant Condition almost daily and I just get stuck there.😉🤪

          Liked by 2 people

  7. My bungalow (built in 1925) had a massive spring-driven door between the kitchen and dining rooms to prevent “disagreeable cooking odors” from afflicting any room but the kitchen. Oh my. One of the nicest smells I’ve ever known was a farm kitchen in morning, with the coffee maker burbling, eggs frying, bacon sputtering in a pan and the toaster running nonstop to build up a stack of amber toast. Or maybe pancakes browning on a skillet so their smell mingled with coffee, fresh frozen orange juice, maple syrup and the sparkling smell of raspberry preserves. Earlier home designers wanted to cork up the smells of omelets heating up with their fillings of sauteed scallions, bell peppers and mushrooms while hash browns were adding their odors of potatoes and onions heating up and caramelizing. “Disagreeable cooking odors” indeed!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. This just reminded me of a song that I really like by the divers. Wish me luck in trying to get it posted here with my work computer that doesn’t like WordPress and my phone.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. HI- I stopped at a local grocery store last weekend and they were roasting something outside. I have learned just today that it was chili’s and I suspected maybe it was, but there was no signs or anything. I just thought it was very curious.
    Chili’s are one of those foods on my list of things I don’t like just on principle. I really don’t like spicey foods, but even the yellow, bland ones make my list too, “Just because”. (Kelly put one in a dish last weekend. She told me I could pick them out. Well, the obvious ones I did but I didn’t work too hard at it).

    Smells: fresh cut hay, lilacs, a cows breath can be nice.
    There’s a perfume; I don’t know what it is, but every now and then I catch a whiff and it takes me back to high school and a girl I dated briefly. She left her stocking cap in my car and I saved that for a long time because it smelled so good.
    And Kelly wore a different perfume that I really liked too.

    Way back when, A secretary at the local theater loved it when I wore English Leather. She actually gave me a bottle for Christmas just so she could sniff my neck when I came to the theater. Not sure she could get away with that now, but it was all very innocent. She was 20 years older than me and I knew her husband. Course I kind of enjoyed the attention. 🙂

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Oh, and vanilla scent is pretty nice.
      I got a lot of hand-me-downs from my cousin David. His stuff always had a particular smell. Must have been the lye soap they used.
      A couple of the shirts I picked up from Savers the other day have a very similar smell.

      And popcorn. And the smell left on my hands after cutting an onion.
      So many things have smells that remind me of things. Cow manure just reminds me of having more animals around here than we do now.
      Theater: a new light fixtures gives off a smell as the oil and manufacturing smells burn off. Gel (the color) burning has a distinctive smell.
      We always play the “I love the smell of napalm in the morning” clip when burning in new fixtures or gel…

      Liked by 4 people

      1. thanks to sourdough from the book club last month i have a sourdough starter for a gluten free regular baking event that will be going on at my house for the forseeable future

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Same here. In fact I had to stop doing bread in my bread maker to be ready in the morning because the smell of it in the house when it started to bake at 4:30 in the morning would always wake me up.


  9. The fresh cool air of the north woods that is scented of pine. It’s good any time of the year, but especially in the autumn when it’s mixed with that autumny smell of dying leaves.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. All winter you cut logs and pile them on the sawmill skidway. Then thaw comes with a nip of winter in the air, a few drifts of snow around, you start sawing the logs while they are still wet with sap. Now that is the smell of wood.

      Liked by 4 people

  10. I used to do a little yoga in the back yard in Robbinsdale, and when I’d get to Downward Dog, I would almost swoon with the smell of the grass and earth.

    I also love the smell of a walnut that hasn’t yet lost its husk, and not dried out yet – reminds me of my grandpa’s yard, and how he used to collect them all on the garage floor and drive over them, back and forth, to remove the husks.


  11. Home today, getting a start on installing hardwood flooring.
    But it’s lunch and I turn in the TV and, speaking of Old movies again, there is Mick Jagger in a movie from 1970 called ‘Ned Kelly’. Based on a true story of an Australian man named Ned who turned to stealing horses to feed his family and then gets in deeper. It’s bad.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Going back a few days on the topic of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society: Prime TV has a show called Walking Through History with Tony Robinson in which he walks a famous British landscape, visits history sites, and talks to historians. Last night we watched a show in which he walked Guernsey and Jersey and dealt with the Nazi occupation. Very good.


  13. I’ll always remember the smell of the flower show at the downtown Minneapolis Dayton’s. It was traditionally held around late March. You’d take the elevator or the escalator to the eighth floor and the fragrance would rush at you as you walked down the long hall to the auditorium. “Ahhhhh….SPRING! Spring at last!”

    The Conservatory at Como Zoo is like that, too.

    Almond extract always reminds me of Christmas.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. When I worked in the IDS tower and later in the Midwest Plaza building, I spent many a lunch hour at Dayton’s, and when the flower show was on I’d go every day. It was such a wonderful gift to the community.


  14. The sense of smell is so evocative. I can think of no other sense that can immediately transport me to a different time and place in an instant. I think I have mentioned on here before seeing the Bolshoi Ballet at Northrup Auditorium many years ago. I had, of course, seen the Bolshoi in Moscow many times, and loved it. I hadn’t given any thought in advance to one aspect of the performance, namely the fragrance emanating from the dancers and most likely their costumes, but the instant I walked into the auditorium at Northrup the fragrance wafting toward me from backstage instantaneously transported me back to Moscow. Northrup, of course, looks nothing like the Bolshoi Theater, but all I needed to do was close my eyes, and there I was. That very distinctive smell, by the way, is not one I’m fond of, but it is an unmistakable Russian perfume smell.

    Another smell that I’m not particularly fond of is Patchouli oil. I have a couple of friends who still use it, and though I dislike it, it still brings forth strong memories of my days at SIU with all of my hippie friends.

    Liked by 2 people

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